Samsung Galaxy Note 2 targeted at those who want a super-sized smartphone — TECH TIME REVIEW
And then, in a class of its own, is the new Samsung Galaxy Note 2, which has debuted on several carriers.
I recently tested out a Verizon version of the Galaxy Note 2, Samsung’s updated behemoth of a phone, and I’ll fill you in on what it can do and who might want to pick it up.
The screen on the Galaxy Note 2 is 5.5 inches. To put that in perspective, there are many tablets that are just 7 inches, so this kind of functions as a sort-of inbetween device (part phone, part tablet). You get a pen embedded into the phone (unlike some competitors, where the pen is loose, which is a good touch), This is one of the elements that imakes it feel more like a tablet at times, especially if you’re using apps like DrawSomething that require, well, drawing … or if you’re using the pen to jot down notes in the memo function.
Samsung is leading the charge in this “phablet” category, as they basically introduced it with last year’s slightly smaller original Galaxy Note, and they’ve found a certain niche for this kind of product.
But the reality that can’t be denied is that this phone is going to be TOO big for a lot of people. It’s hard to fit in your pockets, or even if other areas you might keep your phone, like the cup holder of your car. The size makes it kind of hard to hold at times, and it’s just too much at times.
But on the flip side, that huge screen gives you a great view for watching movies and videos in high-definition, or playing games, so there’s an argument on both sides of the size issue.
The screen on the Galaxy Note 2 is a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED HD touchscreen with a 720p HD resolution. This looks very good, but it’s worth noting that some of the new phones coming out (Droid DNA by HTC, for example) do have full-HD 1080p resolution, so it’s not quite at the peak of the market in this category.
Since the 1080p screens are so new, though, most people will be happy with the 720p screen, which is the norm on most new smartphones.
Photos are high-quality on the Galaxy Note 2, courtesy of the 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, and for video chat or self portraits you have a 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera; Video is crisp at shot at 1080p HD quality.
Processor, Operating system, etc.
The Galaxy Note 2 runs on Verizon’s very fast 4G network, meaning optimal speeds for your uploads and downloads.
It breezes through whatever tasks you throw at it, thanks to a top-of-the-line super-fast 1.6 GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. Under the hood, this is a muscle car for sure.
The operating system is completely up to date, as you get Android 4.1 (aka Jelly Bean), which is not available yet on a lot of newer phones. That means it will be among the first in line to get the next Android update (rumored to be Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie and coming later this year).
You get the easy-to-use and highly customizable Android OS, with full access to the bevy of Google services (Gmail, Google+, Latitude, Google Maps, Google+ Messenger, Navigation, Local, Play Books, Play Movies, Play Magazines, Play Music, Play Store, Google Search, Google Talk, Voice Search, YouTube), Google Play offers hundreds of thousands of apps for download -- some free and some paid.
A concern I had with the Galaxy Note 2 is that it didn’t have as good a battery life as I would have liked to see on a device with such premium specs and performance. I was charging more often that I would have liked to have done.
— Touch the back of a Samsung Galaxy Note II with another compatible device and wirelessly swap information with S Beam.
— Over 600,000 apps & widgets available on Play Store
— 16 GB of memory (can expand up to 64GB via SD card)
— Can be a Mobile Hotspot for other devices (extra monthly fee)
— Tools: Calculator, Calendar, Clock (Alarm, World clock, Stopwatch, Timer, Desk clock), S Note
— Quick Command: Handwrite tasks instead of typing. Send an email, make a call or search a location from any screen.
— Divide the screen into two active “windows” creating a split screen that enables fluid multitasking between applications.
— Popup Video. Watch your favorite video and run other applications at the same time, in the same view
— Popup Browser. Open a web link without leaving what you’re doing. View a webpage and what is displayed conveniently underneath.
Verizon’s network was reliable as usual, and all my calls were clear on both ends and didn’t drop. As far as messaging goes, the huge screen means a huge onscreen keyboard. Even extra large fingers won’t have a problem with typing messages, and the Swype method helps a lot.
The Galaxy Note 2 will cost you $299.99 out of pocket with a new 2-year Verizon contract. This is a bit steep, but this is a lot of phone — both physically and specwise.
The Galaxy Note 2 is pioneering this new phone size category. I’m not sure how far they can go -- maybe 6 inches will be the next plateau for a phone, but I can’t see them going any farther.
The Galaxy Note 2 will be too big for most people’s tastes, but for those who like the hybrid tablet/phone idea (and want to buy one device instead of two) or like to use drawing apps/programs a lot, it might work for your needs. Those who want a somewhat smaller phone but similar specs can choose Samsung’s Galaxy S3, which comes in at 4.8 inches on screen size and is more manageable.
Matt Myftiu can be reached at email@example.com.